Winter digs in, again

Tamara Abbott of the B.A.R.E. Mermaid boat cleaing and restoration service buffs the lower hull of a boat outside the Tetzlaff Boat Sales office Monday. Given the forecast for the next few days, it’s unlikely many boats will be in the water. (Photo by Erik Sandin)

A winter storm warning remains in effect for much of western and central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and St. Croix Valley, until 7 p.m. Thursday as a slow-moving storm is forecast to bring heavy snow to the region the next two days.

The warning area covers nearly all of central and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In addition, the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen has issued an ice storm warning for parts of southeastern Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin.

Valley residents were greeted with about one inch of snow this morning, but roads were in good driving condition. But NWS meteorologists said the storm would bring another round of wintry precipitation to the region late this afternoon through Thursday.

“The most significant part of this storm is expected from tonight through Thursday morning when snowfall rates could exceed two inches per hour,” forecasters said. “This winter storm will have significant impacts on the commute Thursday morning.”

Forecasters said precipitation would transition to snow northwest of a line from Fairmont through Red Wing to Chippewa Falls, Wis., with a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow forecast along and southeast of that line.

“Snowfall amounts of 10 to 12 inches with locally higher amounts approaching 14 or 15 inches are expected along a band centered along a line from Redwood Falls to the Twin Cities metro to Ladysmith, Wis,” forecasters said.

The Valley can expect an mix of rain and snow today with a high near 39. Rain continues early this evening before changing to snow and forecasters added there could be rumbles of thunder possible. The low is expected to fall to 29 with strong northeast winds at 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph.

Snow continues Thursday with additional three- to seven-inch accumulations expected. The high will reach near 34 but gusty northeast winds will continue.